Northern Senators Clash With Colleagues Over Bill On Cattle Ranching

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio

Northern senators and senators from other geo-political zones of the country clashed on Wednesday when a bill for an act to Establish National Animal Husbandry and Ranches Commission for the Regulation, Management, Preservation and Control of Ranches throughout Nigeria; and for connected purposes 2024 (SB. 466), came up to be debated on.

After a heated debate, the Senate passed the bill for a second reading.

Also, it was referred to the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Judiciary and Legal Matters to revert in four weeks.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Titus Tartenger Zam (Benue North-West). Among others, the objectives are to control and regulate cattle ranching business across the country.

In his lead debate on the general principles of the bill, Zam canvassed the need for the proposed Commission to manage, regulate, and preserve ranches across the country.

He said: “The proposed National Animal Husbandry and Ranches Commission is for the management, preservation, and control of ranches throughout Nigeria.”

Opposition

The bill, however, met stiff opposition from Senator Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe Central) and Senator Adamu Aliero (PDP, Kebbi Central). Note that the senators are both former governors.

Both lawmakers argued that cattle rearing and ranching activities were more in the North than in other parts of the country.

They reasoned that lawmaking should be for the entire country and not for a section.

Goje specifically maintained that cattle routes begin from the far north and end in Lokoja as “the route does not extend to the South”.

In his contribution, Senator Hussein Babangida Uba (Jigawa North-West), called for extra caution in passing the bill, given its trail of controversies in the past.

Other Senators who supported the bill contended that the proposed Commission would manage the farmers/herders crisis, hence, it should be passed.

The bill was passed after it was put to voice vote by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio.

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